Archive for May, 2014

We Value Partners

May 23, 2014

Our work at Get Covered America – Texas includes a lot of work with partners. Community organizations, public agencies, congregations, schools, and health-focused groups—who are on the ground working with the people who need to know about their coverage options—all play a crucial role in the success of our campaign to get all Texans covered.

If you’re with a group and would like to receive our weekly coverage partner emails or join our monthly coverage partner training calls on the first Thursday of each month, please let us know. You can register for calls here, and sign up for emails by dropping us a line.



You’re Graduating. Congrats! Now What?

May 20, 2014

If you’re like many college grads, your life has some open questions: What do I want to do with my life? Where will I live? Will I ever be able to wake up before 11 a.m.?

These questions can be both exciting and scary, and we don’t have an answer for them all. But there’s one important thing we can settle right here: You don’t have to go without health insurance.

If you’re losing coverage you had through school, you could qualify to sign up for health insurance. And don’t forget — almost half of young Americans could get covered for under $50 a month!

So, how do you get covered? Here are the key things to know:

  • If your parents have health insurance, you might be able to join their plan until you turn 26. (In some states, you may be able to stay on your parent’s insurance even longer — so check with the insurance company to find out!)
  • If that’s not an option, you can get your own plan through your state’s Health Insurance Marketplace.
  • Most people will get help paying for insurance, or even qualify for free or low-cost coverage through Medicaid.
  • All plans must cover the care you need, like doctor visits, prescriptions, and hospital stays. And, preventive care is free.
  • You can’t be denied coverage for having a pre-existing condition.
  • If you don’t get covered, you might have to pay a fine (nobody wants that!).
  • Mark your calendar: You have 60 days after losing coverage to sign up and pick a plan. So get on it!

Graduating is a huge accomplishment, and you’re no doubt excited for what the future may hold. But no matter what these next years throw your way, there’s one thing you can count on: having affordable, reliable health insurance.

Click here to get started and see if you might qualify to get a new health insurance plan today.

10 Things Uninsured Texans Should Know Now

May 14, 2014

Insurance can be complex, so it’s good to stay on top of what’s available in terms of good, low-cost options and your rights as a health care consumer. Now that the first open enrollment period under the Affordable Care Act has closes, here are 10 things worth knowing.

1. Financial help is bringing down health insurance costs.

Most uninsured people want good health coverage but think they can’t afford it. But peace of mind may be more affordable than you thought: 84% of Texans who just enrolled in health insurance got financial assistance (tax subsidies, credits, and other breaks) that reduced their costs. Some folks pay as little as a few dollars—or even a few cents—per month for really good coverage. This calculator shows what the price could be for you.

2. Remaining uninsured could lead to a fine.

People who have health insurance won’t notice a change, but uninsured families could face a fine when they go to pay their taxes in 2015. Getting insured sooner would reduce the fine, so it’s good to know that . . .

3. If something big just happened in your life, you may be able to get covered right now.

March 31 was the deadline to sign up in the Health Insurance Marketplace, but people experiencing big life events have another chance. For example, there is a 60-day window to enroll after you:

  • have a baby or adopt (not just for the child; everyone in the family can get insured);
  • get married or divorced;
  • lose your health insurance, for example, through your job (and the Health Insurance Marketplace is probably a better deal than COBRA); or
  • move to a new coverage area (a move within the neighborhood probably wouldn’t qualify; one to a new city might).

4. Many kids can get insured year-round.
Families whose kids qualify for CHIP and Medicaid can sign up any time of year here.

5. Young adults have new coverage choices, too.

Through age 25, kids can stay on their parents’ health plans. Also, graduating students who had coverage through their school may be eligible to enroll in the Marketplace. About half of single young adults can find plans for $50 or less per month.

6. Turning 26 is now an insurance milestone.

If you were on your parent’s plan and lost coverage, turning 26 is a chance to get signed up in the Marketplace. (Tell friends born in ’88 the news.)

7. Today’s plans cover more.

Nowadays health plans have fewer loopholes. Preventive care—from well-child visits to mammograms—are covered, as are pre-existing conditions. From mental health to prescriptions to things like breastfeeding supports, things that may have been expensive add-ons in the past now typically come standard, sometimes with little or no out-of-pocket cost.

8. You can get help for free from experts.

Assistance to walk you through your options for enrolling can be found online at, by calling the toll-free hotline, and at sites such as clinics with in-person helpers.

9. Newly insured? To stay covered, you have to pay your premium every month.

This may sound obvious, but with many job-based plans, you don’t have to think about premiums since they just come out of your paycheck. If you’re among the 740,000 Texans who signed up for a Marketplace plan, though, you’ll need to treat health insurance like any other monthly bill, and submit payment every month to remain insured.

10. Already insured? Families who aren’t could use your help.

If you’ve read this far and you have health insurance yourself, I’m going to guess that you may be the type of person who cares about this issue and may be motivated to help the uninsured. Volunteers are needed to help spread the word about health care, to assist with enrollment, and more. Learn more here or drop us a line about how you’d like to get involved.

Mother’s Day, Like Medicaid, Should Be Year Round

This post was written by Ambar Cavillo and originally appeared at MomsRising.

Over 2 million young adults (18-34) now have coverage – many were able to stay on their parent’s plan – and this Mother’s Day we should take the time to thank the ones who helped make this happen. It’s no secret that Mothers, Mamas, and Care Givers everywhere helped ensure their families knew about the deadline to enroll in health coverage during the first open enrollment period. Our Get Covered America team met women across the country in search of information they could share with their families. During phone banks, it was not unusual to have mothers stop the call and bring their sons or daughters to the phone to make sure they had what they needed to get covered.

Our team also found women were 47% more likely to report they were sharing information about health insurance with their friends and family, during the December holidays, than their male counterparts. Luckily, this Mother’s Day holiday, women (our champions for coverage) can also share that families eligible for Medicaid and CHIP can enroll all year round. That means families eligible for Medicaid don’t have to wait until the next open enrollment period and can apply at any time. Here are a few things worth sharing about Medicaid and CHIP:

  • Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provide free or low cost health coverage.
  • Medicaid and CHIP provide access to dentists, regular checkups, vaccines, hospital care and more.
  • Even if you are not eligible, your children may be able to get covered through Medicaid or CHIP.
  • Enrollment for Medicaid (along with CHIP) is open year round! If you or your children are eligible today, you can apply for coverage and enroll at any time.
  • People who may have been denied Medicaid in the past may now qualify.

Bottom line is comprehensive care is available for women and families, and there are resources available that make it easier to understand how to access them. If you are newly covered or want more information on how to keep and use your coverage, check out the information session with the National Partnership for Women & Families, National Women’s Law Center, and Enroll America.

To learn more about Medicaid and CHIP and how to enroll, visit your state’s Medicaid agency or Or call 1-877-KIDS-NOW (1-877-543-7669).

Happy Mother’s Day to New Moms and Moms-to-be!

May 9, 2014

Having a baby or adopting a child is a big change in your life — so big that you could sign up for a new health insurance plan!

Even though the Marketplace isn’t open right now, certain life events (like getting married, having a baby, adopting a child, and more) allow you to sign up for health insurance. And that’s important since new moms and new babies need so much care.

Here’s what you need to know if you or someone you know is having a baby soon:

  1. You have 60 days from the birth of your baby to sign up and pick a plan, add your baby to your current plan, or switch to a new plan that better fits your needs.
  2. Financial help is available. In fact, over half of Americans under 35 could get covered for under $50 a month!
  3. Maternity care is included, including prenatal checkups and tests, newborn immunizations and checkups, breastfeeding support and supplies (yes, breast pumps are covered!), and postpartum care.
  4. If you get stumped with your application, no worries! Local help is available.

If you’re a new mom, you no doubt have a lot on your plate already. Why not give yourself the peace of mind and financial security that comes with getting covered? It’s Mother’s Day weekend, after all.

Are you ready to get started?

Born in ’88

May 1, 2014

If you were born in 1988, you’re turning 26 this year. For those of you who are lucky enough to still be on your mom or dad’s health insurance, this is the year to strike out on your own!

When you turn 26, if you have coverage through your parent’s plan, it will be coming to an end. It might end the month you turn 26, or you might have until the end of the “plan year.” You should check with your plan for the details. The good news is that you’ll have 60 days from whenever you’re scheduled to lose coverage through your parent’s plan to sign up for your VERY OWN plan through the Marketplace!

I know, I know. Growing up is hard. But you should know that almost half of young Americans could get covered for under $50 a month, and you can get local application help if you get stumped.

Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Financial help is available. Click here to find out how much help you might qualify for.
  2. You might have a lot of questions about your health insurance options. Click here for must-know info and tips about getting covered.
  3. You can get local help with your application.
  4. You have 60 days from the day you’re scheduled to lose coverage through your parent’s plan to sign up for health insurance through the Marketplace. You can start here.

If you were #BornIn88 and you’re on your parent’s health insurance plan, mark your calendar now to get covered. Mom and dad will be so proud.

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